This is a question on my mind recently as I'm planning on bringing meals to a couple of local mothers of newborns. When you are eating paleo-style, and you have a life event which results in a lot of people bringing you meals as a supportive measure - do you make special requests to shape the meals brought to your paleo way of eating?
On one hand, it seems like looking a gift horse in the mouth if you get to the point of telling someone (probably a Standard American Diet eater) that your family eats no sugar, no grains, no industrial oils, no MSG, no trans fats, etc. On the other hand, you don't want to have a waste of food (not to mention the cook's time and efforts!) if they bring you lasagna with French bread and a cake for dessert!
My current thought for the next time that we find ourselves on the receiving end of such kindnesses is to at least say that our household doesn't eat wheat.
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Yes, I do make requests.
I request very, very politely, that they not bring me any food, at all.
I thank them, as kindly as possible, for their kind intentions and tell them I am on a special diet. I state my request again, and if they try to insist, I repeat whatever version is necessary. :)
Perhaps it is a bit easier with older folks, as most have some health challenge and need to avoid some things.
It is tedious to have to find someone to whom to give perishable poisons, or sad to have to throw away what someone meant as a gift of love.
There are hundreds of lovely, practical things to give as gifts.
LOVE this question. My husband and I joined a Bible Study group and the people hosting it at their home offered to make dinner the first meet and greet night. Normally we would have just eaten whatever was provided but we were doing a 30 day challenge with our gym.
Without going into great detail I sent the leader and the group an email thanking them for the offer but that we had so many dietary restrictions that WE would be happy to make a meal for everyone. (I know not what the question was about but hear me out...) Once I wrote that people were saying left and right what they could and could not eat. (guess what, Paleo fit everyone!)
what I'm trying to say is that there are SO many allergies out there today that MOST people understand. If it were me I would say "thank you for the offer but we have lots of dietary restrictions. There are many other ways you can help us they include _, , __, If you would still like to provide food we mostly eat veggies, meat, and fruit. We are allergic to/cannot eat: grains including corn and rice, dairy, legumes, peanuts (most people don't know that peanuts are legumes), sugar, and salt. Thank you"
I think it's perfectly okay to make special requests if the forum for those requests is present. However, if food arrives that is not "paleo" then you should feel free to regift it (ie give it to your neighbours, non-paleo friends or family).
When making requests, I tend to simply say "no wheat/gluten (or dairy) please." I think it's too much to ask for the oils and food sources to be clean.
for both my babies, people were great about asking what we would like for food. i love to cook (and am pretty good at it, if i do say so myself) and many of my friends are way into food, too. people would call and say, "we would love to stop by and see you, and bring you some food, too- is there anything in particular you would like?" i often requested fresh fruit and veggies, since its so hard to get to the store in those first few weeks. one sicilian friend killed it with an incredible eggplant parm using his grandmother bolognese sauce and no breading on the eggplant.
i personally think that food is love and really enjoy cooking for other people i care about when they are sick or sad, but i always call first to ask about food allergies or diets. EVERYONE gets inundated with lasagnas, so my specialty is chicken soup or portuguese fish stew. its simple, healing, and easily frozen. for vegetarians i like to make a great, healing soup from 101cookbooks. THIS is one of my favorites. just because i dont eat certain things doesnt mean i wont cook them for other people.
I would think if I knew a personal well enough to make them food I would probably know their eating requirements. I'm not that generous though, so I'm not in the situation often.
If someone asked, I would definitely tell them what our household was likely to eat. If they didn't ask, I would smile and take the offering and pass off the carb bombs to my MIL. ;)
Just my $.02: I never accept food from anyone I don't know closely. Those from whom I do accept food already know my lifestyle and exactly what I will and will not ingest. :)
I've had various dietary issues (allergies, mainly) for ages now, and friends of mine are vegetarian (which can be problematic in the midwest). We all have developed our own ways of saying "oh, I'm sorry, I can't/won't/don't eat X, Y, and Z." Depending on the situation and the gifter- it might be easier to say "gosh, I'd rather not burden you with all our quirks, would you mind just a grocery card/diaper service gift card/three cans of green beans/flowers/helping babysit in a year or two?" Definitely better in some cases than saying- "well, we don't eat glutens- no, not just wheat, it's also (insert MILLIONS OF THINGS THAT HAVE GLUTENS), plus no soy, and no meat, definitely not that thing you always bring to potlucks..." and having to educate them, or reveal your entire medical history.
No. After surgery I got several things of lasagna, brownies, cookies, and chocolate dipped strawberries. I just smiled and gave them to my SAD family.
If only people would give grassfed ribeyes...
Now, on to the next level of pickiness:
If you tell people of all your dietary restrictions, do you also tell them that you only eat certain foods if they are ALSO organic?
Excellent answer. If you just had a baby, lean proteins will help with the milk production. That can be specified. It would only be true to say that you are allergic to wheat, dairy, legumes , sugar and salt. It is not unusual to have celiac, be lactose intolerant, have peanut allergies or any number of reactions to the neolithic foods out there. That way you can go straight to the point of what you can eat. At some point in the conversation you can and most probably will have to explain your concerns with those foods. They will be blown away by your knowledge. If you have been on the Paleo Diet for a while, you will have much more energy. You will most likely be doing more sports or exercises. You will look great, you will be close to or at your ideal body mass index. Your skin tone will be a healthy one, and the whites of your eyes will be sparkling. You won't look sick one bit, and that will further convince them that you are telling the truth. It's win-win. They may be on the 30 day trail the following day. Enjoy it. this is what we have to do to change the course of history. It's a slam-dunk.